Sustainable Arlington

Arlington Vision 2020 Committee/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter



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  • Pruitt Expected to Limit Science Used to Make EPA Pollution Rules

    Climate Change News Mar 20, 2018 | 06:27 am

    Pruitt Expected to Limit Science Used to Make EPA Pollution Rules Plan would hamstring agency’s mission, environmental advocates warn. In a closed-door meeting at the Heritage Foundation on Monday, Pruitt told a group of conservatives that he has plans for additional science reform at the agency, according to multiple attendees.  EPA hasn’t formally shared details of the plan, but it’s widely expected to resemble an effort that Republican lawmakers and conservative groups have been pushing for years.  It’s been met with staunch resistance from Democrats and many scientists. The plan could come “sooner rather than later, ” said Steve Milloy, who served on Trump’s EPA transition team and attended the meeting at the Heritage Foundation. EPA did not respond to a request for comment.  And Milloy cautioned that he did not know the specifics of the plan and said he was not authorized to discuss the meeting. The initiative is expected to require EPA—when issuing rules—to rely only on scientific studies where the underlying data are made public.  It’s an idea that House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has been championing for years.  He and others argue that EPA has been crafting regulations based on “secret science ” to advance its regulatory agenda. Smith, one of the leading opponents of mainstream climate science in Congress, has repeatedly accused federal climate scientists of engaging in a massive conspiracy to falsify climate data.  And he has repeatedly introduced bills that would require EPA to publicize data it uses when crafting regulations. Those efforts died when President Obama was in the[…]

  • Lithium Seen as Lifeline for Oil Majors in Clean Energy Future

    Climate Change News Mar 20, 2018 | 06:07 am

    Lithium Seen as Lifeline for Oil Majors in Clean Energy Future Lithium could be a lifeline for oil majors as the energy industry shifts toward lower-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, said Jeff McDermott of Greentech Capital Advisors LLC. “Their specialty is resource extraction,” McDermott, managing partner of the New York-based boutique investment bank advising energy companies and investors, said in an interview in London.  “They should buy lithium miners, get involved in the upstream of core battery technology.” This suggestion marks out one solution to the existential question some of the world’s biggest energy companies are facing about how to survive as governments clamp down on the fuels they produce.  As the curbs on carbon emissions tighten, a key issue for fossil fuel producers are how much oil and gas demand is at risk. Lithium is a key ingredient in rechargeable batteries that are prevalent in electronics from mobile phones to electric cars.  The metal is part of the cathode, which houses the electric charge.  Demand for the mineral is projected to rise 38-fold by 2030 to 7,845 metric tons per year from 200 metric tons in 2016, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Big oil companies have the capital to deploy and expertise in developing large projects that could help the lithium industry expand. Oil majors have been dabbling in clean energy for decades, but it doesn’t make up a significant percent of any of their businesses.  This is beginning to change, with the industry seeking new revenue streams and to keep themselves at the center of the energy business.[…]

  • Monday 19

    Climate Change News Mar 20, 2018 | 05:59 am

    Monday 19

  • Human Influence on Climate Change Will Fuel More Extreme Heat Waves in US

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 21:36 pm

    Human Influence on Climate Change Will Fuel More Extreme Heat Waves in US Human-caused climate change will drive more extreme summer heat waves in the western U.S., including in California and the Southwest as early as 2020, new research shows. The new analysis of heat wave patterns across the U.S., led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM) based Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) and colleagues, also found that human-made climate change will be a dominant driver for heat wave occurrences in the Great Lakes region by 2030, and in the Northern and Southern Plains by 2050 and 2070, respectively. Human-made climate change is the result of increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. "These are the years that the human contributions to climate change will become as important as natural variability in causing heat waves," said lead author Hosmay Lopez, a CIMAS meteorologist based at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory.  "Without human influence, half of the extreme heat waves projected to occur during this century wouldn't happen." Read more at Human Influence on Climate Change Will Fuel More Extreme Heat Waves in US

  • Western Europe Financial Centers Win Big in Inaugural Global Green Finance Index

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 21:29 pm

    Western Europe Financial Centers Win Big in Inaugural Global Green Finance Index The first ever Global Green Finance Index was launched by Z/Yen and Finance Watch last week, and the financial centers of Western Europe outperformed those in other regions based on the perception of the quality and depth of their green finance offerings. The Global Green Finance Index (GGFI) was created in an effort to “chart the progress of the world’s financial centers towards a financial system that delivers sustainable development, and values people and the planet as much as profit.”  Created by NGO Finance Watch and commercial think-tank Z/Yen, the GGFI ranks the world’s leading financial centers based on a worldwide survey of finance professionals’ views “on the quality and depth of green finance offerings across 108 international financial centres.” “The core of the GGFI is a perception survey which observes and promotes change where it matters most — in people’s minds,” explained Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen.  “The more we can get people talking about a sustainable transition, the quicker it will happen.  The high level of interest in GGFI 1 is a step in that direction.” “The GGFI aims to contribute to the definition of green finance and identify best practices and areas for improvement,” added Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch.  “We hope it will promote bold policy initiatives and high-quality financing that can cut through greenwash.  It is urgent that sustainable finance becomes mainstream in all financial centers.” According to this inaugural edition of the GGFI — GGFI 1 — the top five centers[…]

  • India Most Vulnerable Country to Climate Change - HSBC Report

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 21:19 pm

    India Most Vulnerable Country to Climate Change - HSBC Report India is the most vulnerable country to climate change, followed by Pakistan, the Philippines, and Bangladesh, a ranking by HSBC showed on Monday. The bank assessed 67 developed, emerging and frontier markets on vulnerability to the physical impacts of climate change, sensitivity to extreme weather events, exposure to energy transition risks and ability to respond to climate change. The 67 nations represent almost a third of the world’s nation states, 80 percent of the global population and 94 percent of global gross domestic product. HSBC averaged the scores in each area for the countries in order to reach the overall ranking.  Some countries were highly vulnerable in some areas but less so in others. Of the four nations assessed by HSBC to be most vulnerable, India has said climate change could cut agricultural incomes, particularly unirrigated areas that would be hit hardest by rising temperatures and declines in rainfall. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines are susceptible to extreme weather events, such as storms and flooding. Pakistan was ranked by HSBC among nations least well-equipped to respond to climate risks. South and southeast Asian countries accounted for half of the 10 most vulnerable countries.  Oman, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Mexico, Kenya, and South Africa are also in this group. The five countries least vulnerable to climate change risk are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, and New Zealand. Read more at India Most Vulnerable Country to Climate Change - HSBC Report

  • Evolution of the Tesla Supercharger Network

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 06:00 am

    Evolution of the Tesla Supercharger Network The Tesla Supercharger network is still one of the top reasons electric car buyers are convinced to buy a Tesla rather than another company’s electric car.  The network was a critical competitive advantage we identified years ago when surveying EV drivers and potential EV drivers, and it seems to be referenced every day in comments on CleanTechnica as a core competitive advantage for the Silicon Valley EV & clean energy giant. We are finally seeing superfast/ultrafast charging stations rise up in non-Tesla charging networks, and hey, one day we’ll have a non-Tesla electric car on the market that can charge at 100 kW or more.  But rolling out vast superfast/ultrafast charging stations takes time, and a lot of money....This is where the Supercharger network is today: Read more at Evolution of the Tesla Supercharger Network

  • Canada's Pipeline Challenges Will Force More Tar Sands Oil to Move by Rail

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 05:00 am

    Canada's Pipeline Challenges Will Force More Tar Sands Oil to Move by Rail The Motley Fool has been advising investors on How to Profit From the Re-Emergence of Canada’s Crude-by-Rail Strategy.  But what makes transporting Canadian crude oil by rail attractive to investors? According to the Motley Fool, the reason is “… right now, there is so much excess oil being pumped out of Canada’s oil sands that the pipelines simply don’t have the capacity to handle it all.” The International Energy Agency recently reached the same conclusion in its Oil 2018 market report. “Crude by rail exports are likely to enjoy a renaissance, growing from their current 150,000 bpd [barrels per day] to an implied 250,000 bpd on average in 2018 and to 390,000 bpd in 2019.  At their peak in 2019, rail exports of crude oil could be as high as 590,000 bpd — though this calculation assumes producers do not resort to crude storage in peak months,” the International Energy Agency said, as reported by the 7....And Canada has plenty of capacity to load oil on more trains, which means if a producer is willing to pay the premium to move oil by rail, it can find a customer to do it.  The infrastructure is in place to load approximately 1.2 million barrels per day. With the cancellation of the Energy East pipeline project, which would have moved western Canada's tar sands east to Quebec and New Brunswick, the industry now is pursuing two remaining major pipeline projects:  Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and the Keystone XL.  The Financial Post reported[…]

  • IEA Report Draws Lessons from Rapid Uptake of EVs in Nordic Countries

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 04:10 am

    IEA Report Draws Lessons from Rapid Uptake of EVs in Nordic Countries In proportion to its population, the Nordic region—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden—is strikingly ahead of the rest of the world in adopting electric cars.  With almost 250,000 electric cars at the end of 2017, the five countries account for roughly 8% of the total number of electric cars around the world.  Norway, Iceland, and Sweden have the highest ratios of EVs per person, globally. Further, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Nordic region is projected to reach 4 million cars by 2030—more than 15 times the number currently in circulation, according to the International Energy Agency’s Nordic EV Outlook 2018 (NEVO 2018).  The report outlines the key factors contributing to successful developments and identifies key lessons to be learned, providing insights for countries currently developing their electric mobility strategies. The Nordic countries represent the third-largest electric-car market by sales, after China and the United States.  Norway leads the way with a 39% market share of electric car sales—the highest globally.  Sweden has more than 49,000 electric cars in circulation and accounts for 20% of the total Nordic stock. This remarkable growth has been driven by strong policy support and ambitious decarbonization goals, putting the region at the forefront of the transition to electric mobility.  In this context, IEA intends for Nordic EV Outlook 2018 to provide a useful benchmark and to highlight a series of best practices—and hurdles to avoid—for countries around the world.Policy support has significantly influenced electric-car adoption across these countries, the main driver being[…]

  • Sunday 18

    Climate Change News Mar 19, 2018 | 03:50 am

    Sunday 18